Delivering value is at the heart of our technology solutions, and we couldn’t do that without the tremendous technical expertise brought to the table by our team of consultants, developers, and engineers. As such, we are excited to announce that Stephen Piper has joined our team as a full-time application developer.
Stephen Piper is an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Foundations 2021 Associate with a background in the automation manufacturing industry. After five years of working as an account manager across a range of services from 3D printing to injection molding, Stephen transitioned to the world of programming and joined our team at Traust.
By way of introduction, here’s a quick Q&A we recently did with our featured consultant…
Brock Ray: Can you tell us a bit about your journey before joining our team?
Stephen Piper: As you know, prior to working with Traust, I worked in the automation manufacturing industry. During the pandemic, I was looking for a change. I took some online classes for programming and found it really interesting. I wanted to pursue it further, so I left my previous position and spent six months, 80+ hours per week, learning how to write code and become a developer. I met Traust through that process, and you guys were kind enough to offer me a trial. That turned into a full-time position, and here I am.
BR: What drew you to development work and coding?
SP: I’ve always been pretty nerdy and had the advantage of having the internet at a really young age. I was always adamant that this internet thing was going to be a big deal and maybe we should do something with it.
Granted, I ignored all that advice for a good 30 years, but I eventually got back around to it. I really wanted to dive into the nuts and bolts of the things I love and the development process behind them. In doing so, I really fell in love with the building aspect — you start with a problem, you try to break it down to its smallest components, and then you start organizing and building one on top of the other, and you get a result. Being able to click “run” and have your program do what you intended is really satisfying.
BR: What have been some of the highlights from your time with Traust?
SP: Joining the Traust team has allowed me to practice and experiment with Oracle APEX development and the Oracle environment. One project I worked on involved storage for musical instruments. By collecting and analyzing data on various instruments, we can determine what spaces those instruments will fit in and assign cabinets, ultimately allowing our client to design complete storage locker arrangements in just a few clicks.
BR: Looking forward long-term, what kind of things do you want to do in the world of programming and the world of Traust?
SP: I recently became Oracle (OCI) cloud certified and I’d like to continue that path of knowledge, since cloud-based environments won’t be going away anytime soon. Long-term, I’d also like to continue to develop my skills and maybe pick up another language like C#.
BR: Let’s move on from work stuff and talk a little more about you. Are you from the Twin Cities?
SP: I am originally from Albert Lea – about as far south in Minnesota as you can get before you run into Iowa. I went to college in Mankato and from there moved up to the Twin Cities because that’s where the job market was and all the happenings.
I’ve been living here ever since, bouncing around the metro and currently living in Lower Town, Saint Paul.
BR: What do you do when you’re not coding for Traust?
SP: That depends on whether we’re in a pandemic or not. In the before times, I really enjoyed getting out with a group of friends, trying new restaurants, going to different shows, concerts, those types of things. I enjoy reading quite a bit and video games, so now I spend more time doing those. I really enjoy the indie rock side of things, and I like to go to the occasional jazz show, too. The Dakota Jazz Club is excellent.
BR: Any other hobbies or fun things that you do?
SP: I like hiking. I started getting into it just before the pandemic hit. It’s a pretty socially-distant activity, so I’ve kept that up. I’m hoping to add in some camping at some point, too.
We’re really blessed with our location here in the Twin Cities, with an abundance of outdoor activities you can get to really quickly and easily.
BR: How about one fun fact people would be surprised to learn about you?
SP: Most people are surprised to find out I don’t have social media. I do scroll and keep tabs on things, but I do it anonymously. I don’t have my own accounts so I’m not commenting, just browsing other people’s posts.
We’re thrilled to have talented folks like Stephen on our team. If you’re interested in joining our crew, please check out our current job openings and drop us a line.